Wendy Ella May, a disabled veteran, recalled talking with another veteran after a Memorial Day ceremony at the Johnston County courthouse in Smithfield.
“He said to me, ‘You heard about that person running in District 2? You know, that guy that’s known he’s been a girl since he was 4 years old? I hope that faggot does not get elected because that’s all this county needs is a faggot.’ ”
Unbeknownst to the veteran, he was talking about May, 55. She operates a retreat for veterans on her farm. She is running for Johnston County commissioner. She is a transgender woman.
She said she informed the man, in his words, that she was the “faggot” he was talking about.
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“I think there’s discrimination and hate everywhere,” May said. “But in a rural county like this....” She left the thought unfinished.
May said when she’s out in public she’s often greeted with second looks, laughter and snickers. At the Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival in May, she said, someone told her, You faggots can just go back where you belong.
A native of New Jersey, May believes she is where she belongs.
On Facebook, she wrote, “I strongly believe that if you are not sitting at the table you will be on the menu.”